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Will Poker Euros Miss Out on Tournament of Champions?

Voting for World Series of Poker's TOC Suggests Event Populated by Americans


Top Secret 20 TOC PlayersThere are just seven weeks to go before the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions $1 million freeroll poker invitational kicks off at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, during the 41st WSOP.

Twenty-seven players will take part and this includes past TOC champions Annie Duke, Mike Matusow, Mike Sexton, reigning WSOP champion Joe Cada, reigning WSOPE champion and Card Player supremo Barry Shulman, two wild cards, and 20 others selected by public vote at

The top 20 most voted for WSOP bracelet holders out of a total of 521 will get the chance to sit down and play on Jul. 27, but up to mid-April, things did not look very hopeful for the Euro contingent. The top 20 according to the at the time were (in alphabetical order):

Doyle Brunson
Johnny Chan
T.J. Cloutier
Allen Cunningham
Antonio Esfandiari
Sam Farha
Chris Ferguson
Barry Greenstein
Joe Hachem
Jennifer Harman
Dan Harrington
Phil Hellmuth
Phil Ivey
John Juanda
Howard Lederer
Daniel Negreanu
Scotty Nguyen
Greg Raymer
Huck Seed
Erik Seidel

A total lack of even the most popular European WSOP bracelet winners is clearly evident, and with voting closing on Jun. 15, there is a good possibility this event will star an all-American cast (apart from Hachem who is Australian).

Hope remains however when you take a look at the Top 50 at the moment as six Europeans are hanging on in there – Peter Traply, Vitaly Lunkin, David Benyamine, Peter Eastgate, Dario Minieri, and Annette Obrestad are currently flying the flag for Europe.

Sites and fans continue supporting their favourite WSOP title holders in the hope of them making the cut, and this includes Boylepoker’s “Vote for Marty Smyth” campaign which has taken off on Facebook.

The Belfast man has pledged any winnings from the $1 million freeroll to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Dublin, if he makes it in.